Recent years have seen the rise of smartphone videos shot in vertical orientation due to live streaming and other mediums. Back in June, YouTube announced that its Android and iOS apps would better support these experiences. This dynamically adapting video player is now beginning to rollout for the latter platform.
Beyond vertical video viewing that is already common on smartphones thanks to the likes of Snapchat, other common video formats include square-shaped and those in other aspect ratios that differ from the traditional horizontal video.
In the past, the YouTube mobile apps stuck to the same horizontal video window no matter the content and added varying degrees of black bars to account for it. Now, YouTube has a dynamic player that adapts to the video’s natural format, as well as your viewing preferences.
Square and vertical video will fill up the screen, with whatever space remaining below containing the video description, actions, and watch suggestions. Tapping full-screen — which now has an icon that adjusts to the shape of the video — lets vertical video take up the entire display.
By scrolling down, users are able to shrink any window to the traditional horizontal shape so that they can browse videos and read comments unimpeded by the video player.